Major Depressive Episode
Diagnostic Criteria for Major Depressive Episode
- Five (or more) of the following symptoms have been present during the same 2-week period and
represent a change from previous functioning; at least one of the symptoms is either (1) depressed
mood or (2) loss of interest or pleasure.
Note: Do not include symptoms that are clearly due to a general medical condition, or mood-incongruent delusions or hallucinations.
- depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, as indicated by either subjective report
(e.g., feels sad or empty) or observation made by others (e.g., appears tearful) Note: In
children and adolescents, can be irritable mood.
- markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day,
nearly every day (as indicated by either subjective account or observation made by others)
- significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain (e.g., a change of more than 5% of
body weight in a month), or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day. Note: in
children, consider failure to make expected weight gains.
- insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day
- psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day) observable by others, not merely
subjective feelings of restlessness of being slowed down)
- fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day
- feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt (which may be delusional)
nearly every day (not merely self-reproach or guilt about being sick)
- diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day (either by
subjective account or as observed by others)
- recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying), recurrent suicidal ideation without a
specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide.
- The symptoms do not meet criteria for a Mixed Episode.
- The symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other
important areas of functioning.
- The symptoms are not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse,
a medication) or a general medical condition (e.g., hypothyroidism).
- The symptoms are not better accounted for by Bereavement, i.e., after the loss of a loved one, the
symptoms persist for longer than 2 months or are characterized by marked functional impairment,
morbid preoccupation with worthlessness, suicidal ideation, psychotic symptoms, or psychomotor
These criteria are excerpts from
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM-IV,
© 1994, American Psychiatric Association.
Modified August 6, 2004